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Sour Sweet Timothy Mo Title How do language and cultural assumptions interact to benefitdisadvantage each member of the Chen family as they adapt to their new lives in Britain James Watson Between Two Cultures discovered through long sociological analyses that the attitude of the Chen family as a whole towards Westerners is a good reflection of how many Chinese people feel about European cultures Of all the Chens it is probably Lily who displays the most convincing argument for this point of view Lily shows no interest in assimilating with the Westerners and clings to her own cultural heritage instead Lily is certainly the strongest character in the book both emotionally and possibly even physically Her day to day activities are on the whole a good reflection of what Chinese women living in a different culture would be She is the one to stay at home and has responsibility for the household and the bringing up of any children However unlike the majority of her counterparts who on moving into a new community feel isolated and a burden on their families Lily has a desire to succeed and make something of her life It is almost as though in some respects Lily resents the fact that she was born a woman as is evidenced by the following line Man- Kee would have the opportunities which she had been excluded form herself because of her sex and ill-fortune The drive and determination to fulfil her primary duty shows us Lilys very masculine attitude to her family and goes against the way in which most Chinese women in this situation would behave Lily wants her relationship with Man-Kee and his childhood to be more loving than her own but although she tries very hard in this respect she seems care more about the way that he is growing physically and mentally rather than emotionally Again this is a reflection
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